Top Five Iconic Covers

Brian Cronin over at CBR has been doing a Top Five Most Iconic Covers for individual characters, and it’s a really great idea (read: I wish I’d thought of it first).  Like most idiots with an opinion I have often been disagreeing with some of his picks, but having learned first hand how hard it is to pick a “top” anything, I’ve been keeping my mouth shut.  But he featured my girl Rogue this week and I can no longer be silenced!

Here are Cronin’s picks.

The list isn’t even that bad, I think in my own list (see below) I have to use three of the five he uses, however the use of that Paul Smith cover as number one is just criminal.  That cover is completely a Wolvie cover, not a Rogue cover and while the actual issue marks pretty big developments for the character and her evolution, the cover does not relay that same message.  Epic fail.

So here’s MY list:

5.  Andy Kubert

096 Andy Kubert

As discussed on my Best 100 Covers post, as an adult and as an artist, I kind of hate this cover for a lot of reasons, but as a 16 year old girl, my heart literally went all ‘pitter pat’ in my chest and didn’t stop for, like, YEARS.  And independent of my personal feelings, this relationship was a major part of Rogue’s 90’s storyline, and affected her character hugely both at this point in time and (for good or ill) pretty much the rest the character’s life thus far.

4.  Walt Simonson

X-Men 171 Walt Simonson

Cronin is right that this cover is iconic because of the “hope you survive the experience” homage that at this point had become classic and iconic on its own, but perhaps it’s even more iconic because in Rogue’s case it was a more accurate statement than ever before.  Although, perhaps they should have changed up the meme to read, “Welcome To The X-Men Rogue…Hope The X-Men Survive The Experience” considering the fact that the entire team tries to quit on principle when Xavier lets her in.

3. John Romita Jr.

X-Men 185

This is a great cover, and a great issue, that was a huge development in Rogue’s growth as a character.  It foreshadowed great things for the character and managed to be a milestone issue for both Rogue and Storm.  Neither of them would ever be the same after this issue – and that is the mark of a great comic – and this cover conveys that feeling – which is the mark of a great cover.

2.  Marc Silvestri

079 Marc Silvestri

This Genosha storyline was a big turning point for Rogue, both emotionally as she battled the unexpected side effects of losing her cursed powers; and perhaps even more importantly, it spotlighted the relationship with the Carol Danvers personality living inside of her.  This was the first arc (if I recall correctly) that Rogue and Danvers agreed on an uneasy peace, if only for their combined survival.  And it kicked off a fantastic ongoing storyline about their constant battle for control of Rogue’s body.

1.  Jim Lee

02 Jim Lee

And here’s where control of that body comes to a head, more than thirty issues later.  This milestone issue featured the final and long awaited separation of Carol Danvers and Rogue with surprising results after Rogue was shot through the Siege Perilous by Dazzler (you bitch Dazzler).  This issue is important both because it truly highlights how much our heroine has changed, and because as a result of this issue, there are new rules for Rogue and Danvers.  They’ve been permanently separated, but Rogue has retained the powers.  For good or ill this changed Rogue’s direction and is a critical arc in her evolution.  It’s also gorgeous, but you guys know I’m a fan.

Ironically, I think that this cover to X-Men Classic #77…

Xmen Classic #77

…really proves my point about why Cronin’s pick of X-Men #173 is a real miss.  The cover above, a re-imagining by Adam Hughes of the original Paul Smith X-Men #173 cover is a pretty great example of a Rogue cover…with the positions reversed like this (i.e. Rogue in front instead of back) it works as a Rogue cover, but would you ever in a million years put this on a list of most iconic Wolverine covers?  No way.  Now of course Wolvie has more iconic covers out there than just about any other Marvel character, but still, I’m sure you can see my point.

Just for fun here are a few of my other favorite covers featuring Rogue.  I wouldn’t call them all iconic, but I would call them all awesome.  It’s a little bit shocking actually, how few powerful and truly moving covers Rogue has, she’s been a fan favorite for a long time, and it’s really not evident in looking up her covers…


Despite the fact that nobody draws Rogue better than Chris Bachalo (well, maybe Lee did back in the day, and Adams, and Silvestri), there are precious few great Bachalo Rogue covers, this one stands out as one of my favorites.


Despite the silliness of those impractical heeled boots, and the silliness of the pose in general I kind of always loved this Marc Silvestri cover, but as stated earlier, maybe I was just desperate for some decent Rogue focused covers period.

085 Art Adams

A great Art Adams Rogue cover.  Really more of team cover, but in my totally unbiased opinion (NOT) she steals the show here.

Uncanny Xmen 182

This John Romita Jr., cover is kind of a fake out, because if I remember the issue correctly, that’s actually Carol Danvers in control for the bulk of this issue…so Rogue, but not Rogue.  But I love the retro look of this, the lasers bouncing off her body.  Fun stuff.

AOA Astonishing X-men #3

Despite the fact that Rogue’s Age of Apocalypse costume was a total nightmare, as a team leader of her own book (in an alternate timeline/universe) she got some great face time, and even some good cover time.  This one by Joe Madureira is nice.


But please don’t bring up this one.  While it’s not a bad imagining of Rogue (again, Jim Lee always took pretty good care of my girl) I think we can all see what I don’t love about this.  Rogue all clinging damsel in distress style to Magneto in her savage land rags while Fury and Magneto are fully clothed?  Yeah, I don’t think so.  I think Lee just wanted to take advantage of Rogue’s (at one time reasonable) Savage Land rag bikini a little longer…I’m sure fanboys everywhere thanked him.


  1. bonezgiovanni’s avatar

    Hello Kelly, I just found your blog today and I feel it’s all kinds of Amazing!! I especially love the Rogue features/posts and I am also a huge fan too and I totally love your top 5 list. Since you’re a Rogue fan I was wondering if you ever checked out . It’s essentially a blog where any Rogue fan can go to get day-to-day Rogue news as they come in. It’s a favorite blog of mine and I was hoping if you haven’t checked it out that maybe you will. As a Rogue fan, I know you will love it and I bet it’ll be the same for the 16 year old girl that’s still in you : P

  2. 1979semifinalist’s avatar

    bonezgiovanni: Welcome! And thank for commenting. And thank you thank you for the compliments! I’ve got another Rogue post coming up soon (in a couple weeks maybe when I get some time?), so make sure to come back for that.

    I do know about the Rogue news site you linked to, but I’d kind of forgotten about it – thanks for bringing it back to my attention – I’ll have to bookmark it and start going regularly!

    So thanks again for the comment – and I hope you stick around!

  3. bonezgiovanni’s avatar

    You’re very welcome, I’m really glad I found your blog, I’m really enjoying it. I can’t wait for the next Rogue post, I already bookmarked this site. So I will definitely be sticking around = )

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